caramel apple cake

the weather is a little crazy.  yesterday it was in the 50’s in the morning and by early evening, it was raining, sleeting and snowing all at once.  it changed over to snow, we got our annual dusting and the temperature dropped like a rock!  it is 9 degrees outside right now…

before all of this crazy weather started, a few of my fellow master gardeners gathered to begin planning our big urban gardening festival.  a caramel apple cake seemed like the perfect choice for a meeting.

a quickly mixed and spicy cake that is chock full of chunky apples and pecans.  it is one of my favorite cakes to bake and share with friends; it makes regular appearances at meetings and in the garden.

the recipe has been posted before and this is a link to it.  for this one, i used pecans rather than walnuts and that bag of arkansas black apples in my fridge came in handy; i used two of them since they were so large.  for the caramel drizzle, use 1 cup of your favorite caramel sauce-preferably homemade.

to decorate the cake, allow the cake to cool about 15 minutes in the pan.  invert the cake onto a rack and place the rack over a sheet pan to catch the drips.  using a spoon, carefully drizzle half of the caramel over the warm cake.  let the cake cool completely then drizzle the remaining caramel over the cake.  if a lot runs off and collects in the pan, scoop it up and drizzle it again.  the cooler the cake and the caramel, the less likely it is to run off.  just make sure it is pourable or it will form thick globs on the cake-not very attractive, trust me on this.

arkansas black apples get their name from the deep red color of the skin.  it is such a dark red that it will almost look black at a quick glance.  the flavor is a bit floral in comparison to other apples and it they are wonderful for pies and sauce and just as tasty sliced up and eaten raw.  it is a true southern apple and we have a small tree in our yard and maybe this year we will get a few before the squirrels eat them all.

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